UFC Fight Night 30 Review
By Mike Fagan, October 27th, 2013
I found Fox Sports 2 on my cable programming guide guys! I just had to go on my computer, type in some keywords into the internet, and I found this thing showing the fights. There was something about “BT Sports,” which I think is “Fox Sports 2” in British. But it was great! Gareth Davies! Michael Bisping! Some dude with a bow tie in the studio! Reasonably attractive women made more attractive on account of their accents and proper speech patterns!
-After knocking down Mark Munoz with the Cro-Cop-Wanderlei-shin-to-the-top-of-the-dome kick, Lyoto Machida pulled some serious kung fu movie shit, holding up on any follow up brain damage while allowing referee Leon Roberts time to waddle over and stop the fight. You might say, “Hey, what great sportsmanship!” I say, “This is why teammates should never fight.”
If Munoz was Bisping or Tim Kennedy or Chris Weidman, Machida’s fists rain down from the heavens, and we celebrate his ability to turn off the empathy switch and inflict potentially life-changing trauma on another human being’s skull. Instead, it was a former training partner. Instead, it was someone who Machida has probably developed a personal relationship with. Instead, it was a guy who has a wife and kids that Machida has probably met, if not spent significant time with.
That’s why I’m not just ambivalent about training partners squaring off; I actively do not want to see it. I suppose there are guys like Diego Sanchez or Donald Cerrone who can turn off a part of their brains and fight their friends and be totally OK with the whole process. Most people, even professional fighters, have a hard time breaking through psychologically, and that’s what we saw Saturday night.
-Mark Munoz now has two losses on his ledger where he landed zero strikes. I have no clue if he’s the only UFC fighter to hold that distinction, but I imagine it’s an exclusive club in any case.
-Munoz is (was) one of the worst #5 guys across divisions and epochs. (He was, I believe, as high as #3 at one point, likely heading into the Weidman fight. Also atrocious.) That speaks to timing and the shallow depth at middleweight. Breaking down his UFC middleweight wins:
Nick Catone: 3-4 UFC; best win is Costa Philippou at 195 pounds
Ryan Jensen: 2-6 UFC; currently outside the promotion
Kendall Grove: 7-6 UFC; cut from the UFC 2 years and 12 fights ago
Aaron Simpson: 7-4 UFC; KO’d by Josh Burkman outside UFC in last fight
CB Dollaway: 7-5 UFC; looks like Jonathan Toews with Down Syndrome
Demian Maia: 12-5 UFC; Munoz’s best win?; now fights at welterweight
Chris Leben: 12-9 UFC; pisses on pillows; 1-4 since 2011; sober 2013 Leben slurs words like drunk 2005 Leben
Tim Boetsch: 8-5 UFC; Munoz’s best win?; once threw David Heath
In any case, the win should springboard Machida right into the top five at middleweight. That leaves him within striking distance of the title and with potential fights against Vitor Belfort, Jacare Souza, Luke Rockhold, and Michael Bisping.
-Back in July, the Association of Boxing Commissions discussed changing the rules regarding kicks and knees to a grounded opponent. From MMA Fighting:
“Referees should instruct the fighters that they may still be considered a standing fighter even if they have a finger or portion of the hand (or entire hand) on the canvas. … The referee may decide that the downed fighter is instead simply trying to draw a foul. If the referee decides that the fighter is “touching down” simply to benefit from a foul, the referee may consider that fighter a standing fighter and decide that no foul has occurred.”
In addition to that, the referee would have the discretion to penalize the offending fighter for timidity through either a warning or point deduction.
I’d like to say this is a step in the right direction, but lemme riddle you this. Let’s say Melvin Guillard and Ross Pearson are fighting. In the first round, Melvin pushes Ross into the cage with a single leg and uses that to transition to the back. He trips up Ross, which puts Ross’s hands on the mat in a standing position. Melvin cannot knee Ross in the head here, and his other striking options are limited.
Later on in the fight, Ross stuffs Melvin’s takedown attempt and grabs a front headlock. He throws a couple knees. Melvin doesn’t go limp, but reacts to the blows and puts a knee or hand down on the mat. Ross, by the proposed wording, is allowed to continue throwing knees with impunity. See the problem here?
And this wording wouldn’t have changed anything about Pearson and Guillard’s fight on Saturday. The issue wasn’t whether Pearson was touching the floor with his hand or knee intentionally, but whether it was touching at all. None of the replay angles were conclusive. (This did not stop Joe Rogan from telling the audience when Pearson’s hand/knee was touching the floor from replay angles where the mat was not in frame whatsoever.) The replay angles are mostly moot when this is a call made in real time. And because of how quickly things moved and the position they were in, it’s hard to fault Marc Goddard for calling a “no contest.” I have no idea if that’s the correct call by the book, but it’s certainly the most fair for both parties involved.
The rules should allow knees to the head of a grounded opponent. I would even be OK outlawing Coleman-Vovchanchyn knees to the crown of the head, if that pushes the rule through. Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic on that front. At best, we may see the prohibition against knees in the “three-point stance” position lifted.
Mike Fagan is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at FightFansRadio.com, also available as a podcast via iTunes.